Letter to the Editor

A free-speech paradox: Cigarettes vs. abortion

The Post reported Aug. 25 [“Court upholds ruling against FDA’s cigarette packaging mandate”] that a federal appeals court in Washington has prohibited the Food and Drug Administration from requiring tobacco companies to put factually accurate photos of people harmed by tobacco use on cigarette packages, ruling that doing so violates the free-speech rights of tobacco companies.

Meanwhile, a federal appeals court in St. Louis has upheld a requirement that physicians in South Dakota read a factually inaccurate warning about the dangers of abortion to their patients considering the procedure, saying doing so does not violate the free-speech rights of physicians.

Does the right hand of the federal judiciary know what the left hand is doing, or are the courts now valuing free speech for corporations more highly than free speech for physicians and patients?

Robert E. Oshel, Silver Spring

 
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